China fact of the day

Shenzhen, a city in southern China known for electronics manufacturing, stood out last year, completing 11 such skyscrapers. That’s more than the US and Australia combined. The city was also China’s hottest real estate market last year.

Next was Chongqing, noted for its fast GDP growth (link in Chinese), and Guangzhou, which completed a new finance center with 111 stories and especially fast elevators.

There is much more information at the link.


Yes, I've heard this state, China has more cranes than the USA, though I didn't know also AU, combined. First?

Recall in the late 1980s the books "Japan, Inc" and how they will conquer the world...same will happen now. Asia likes 'dumb growth' of the kind that's just ketchup / catch-up growth to the West. No pushing out of the Production Possibilities Frontier, which can only be done with innovation.

PS--NIH just discovered a cure for cancer using the body's own immune system, but being held up due to bureaucratic infighting (see yesterday's WSJ). Typical of when nobody 'owns' the rights to an invention, since nobody will profit. Classic tragedy of the commons due to obsolete 'first-past-the-gate' patent law IMO that doesn't really reward team efforts by groups of unrelated people.

The Chinese regime's own internal contradictions will bring about its demise. The Chinese are enslaved by the Communist party and such a situation can't go on. As Mr. Mao famously pointed out, the oppressors are paper tigers, they may look formidable, but they will end up overthrown.

Ray - Dr. Rosenberg published a brief paper in the New England Journal of Medicine last month and it's hardly a cure. It was an immunotherapy treatment on a single patient and one of the lesions lost the targeted gene indicating that there might be a relapse and recurrence of the tumor. there were 12 patients treated and this is the only one who had a real response. I don't think this counts as a cure as we don't even see survival at one year not to mention five years which is the usual standard. NIH has far bigger problems going on these days with contamination at the pharmacy and an earlier incident a couple of years ago where immuno-compromised patients were infected with bacteria from improper controls in the wards.

Thanks AlanG, I saw the fungus issue, which sounds trivial, and keep in mind N=12 is too small of a sample size to be either optimistic (me) or realistic (you); time will tell. In any event, if we had better patents we'd be living forever in flying cars, it's pretty clear. Most people go to NIH just to build their resume rather than really do hard science. But it's unlikely their $30+ B budget will be cut, bad optics.

Australia's only got 24 million people. Adding it to the US is a bit silly isn't it?

Yes, but those 24 million are really hurting for space down there, so it makes sense to build big skyscrapers.

Land prices are a lot higher in Sydney than in Shanghai. There are benefits to being near an economic hub and so Australia has ended up with 3 big population centers - Sydney, Melbourne, and in third place Brisbane. This results in very high land prices, particularly in the fist two and especially Sydney, so there are a lot of skyscrapers planned.

On the other hand, there are companies now offering internet services so fast it will be possible to watch moving videos in real time. This isn't vaporware, I've seen it in action. Technically, these megabyte a second plus internet speeds could allow people to work from home, so it will be interesting to see if the way we work is revolutionized as a result.

"There are benefits to being near an economic hub...this results in very high land prices, particularly in the fist two and especially Sydney, so there are a lot of skyscrapers planned"

1) the most important reason land prices are so high in AUS is that the banks have bid up their price to nosebleed levels, with APRA & the Reserve Bank standing by helplessly like eunuchs, wringing their hands. Then, the State gov'ts [which arguably shouldn't even exist] release too little [or no] land for development.

The reason 'a lot of skyscrapers are planned' [Melbourne] is that the feckless Federal Gov't funnels ~ 450,000 people pa into the country-and 85% of them go to the two largest capital cities, which have the worst housing crises noted above. Sydney is building a few office blocks in the new harbour precinct, Barangaroo, & a new hotel on Darling Harbour. That's about it.

2) 'could allow people to work from home': Paging Rip van Winkle: its 2017, not 1998.

Actually, if you knew anything about the debacle the National Broadband Network has become, you'd know your fantasy above will never become a reality [using the Cu Customer Access Network from the 19thC as 'the last mile' to the home]

> No pushing out of the Production Possibilities Frontier, which can only be done with innovation.

Japan's been awarded more Nobel prizes in the 21st century than any other country besides the US or UK.

The century is still young, and back out 'literature' and 'peace prize', but good points Doug.

And South Korea is first and Japan second in patent applications per capita. Japan has about 2.6 more per capita than the US.

You can apply to patent anything you want, it's a very loose definition of innovation.

If you have any very tight definitions of innovation, I'd be interested to learn about them.

Isn't there the Babylon Index? The nation with the most number and highest skyscrapers is also heading for the biggest fall? Aren't most NY skyscrapers start from 1925 - 1930?

Or Dubai...

They're not interested in skyscrapers in NY... more from Nashville, Austin, or Chattanooga which would signal growth. I'm not saying its a good metric but dismissing it because Manhattan is already built up seems silly to me.

What? When's the last time you were in NY? They are building 60 story apartment buildings on every block in downtown Brooklyn.

Many of these are barely occupied. Prime real estate completed ~10yrs ago sits unoccupied and deteriorating.

Any country can build 100 skyscrapers a year if they want, just like any country can have 10% GDP growth. Doesn't make it a good decision

This may well be just a Command Control economy run amok with no feed back loop to halt uneconomical activity.

Is there a valid need (demand) to drive all this construction? And vacancy isn't necessarily the best metric. How much rent is each of these skyscrapers going to generate each year and how much do they cost to build?

Actually the original article already comments on rising vacancy rates.

Globalization and trade has moved on to a new phase, one dominated by goods produced and sold by and for China firms (primarily in Shenzhen, China's Silicon Valley) to compete with goods produced by and for American firms including goods produced in China for American firms. Our politics is stuck in a phase of globalization and trade that is the past. Economists are expected to predict the future, but all too many have their focus on the past.

When you start in last place, anything can look good.

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